Explaining British Etiquette Rules To Your Guest

By - Olivia
12.07.21 06:00 PM

British etiquette rules to explain to your guest

The UK receives tons of international students from different cultures every year. This is a great opportunity for them to improve their English by immersing themselves in British culture. Of course, not everybody has an easy time adjusting to new customs. Still, as a host you can help your guest out by explaining the basics of British etiquette. Here's a list of British customs you should explain to your guest.


Brits have the tendency of apologising for everything, even when they are not at fault. Sometimes saying sorry is used instead of ‘excuse me’ and this might come across as odd to first-time visitors. Keep this in mind while talking to your guest, and help them out by explaining the common use of ‘sorry’ to them.

Greeting with no physical contact

Being socially awkward is a classic British trait. That’s why greeting someone usually doesn’t include the infamous ‘air-kissing’, typical of other cultures around the world (although handshakes on formal occasions are allowed). It seems like something very normal to us Brits, but actually, this hands-off greeting is very rare. Be sure to let your guest know how they should greet any new acquaintances so they can avoid social faux-pas.


All across the country, in train stations, concerts, supermarkets, outside shops and anywhere else, British people can be observed neatly formed in a line and patiently waiting for their turn. This is one of the holy grails of British etiquette and the worst thing you could do is try to skip the queue.


Sometimes it is difficult to tell how much to tip for a service or if you have to tip at all! In some countries the tip is always included in the bill; in others you always have to add a tip on top of the bill. In the UK, the best way of knowing is by checking if your bill says ‘service not included’, then you know you should leave a tip (10% is customary).

As always, at Host Family Stay we love to help our clients, so let us know if you have any questions! We’ll take care of anything you need.